Today I had the privilege of attending the funeral of a woman, my husband's Auntie Alice, who lived to be 102 years old. She grew up the child of Italian immigrants, one of 13 children, working on a flower farm in Pacifica, living in a one room house, and after she got married, walking across the street every day to her church to meet with God for a while and go back home. Her sister told us that the last day she saw Alice...about a month before she died...she didn't recognize her sisters, but she had a smile on her face. A few weeks later, she went to sleep and never woke up again. Her only daughter Barbara, gave the eulogy today. At the end of telling her Mom's story, she simply ended with this, "Alice doesn't live her anymore. She lives with God now."
It was a very moving day for me. My parents and Dave's parents are gone. Some sad stories there. My father disowned me. He never wanted to know God or accept His love. In the end, he didn't want me either. That broke me. It wasn't like he wasn't offered the truth. He just didn't want anything to do with God's life or love.
In the end, the only story of a life worth telling-- it seems to me--is that a person got to know God, loved what God did for them, and then passed it on, not because it was a duty but because it was impossible to contain, because the love God put into a life just got so big, it spilled out onto everyone around. If that isn't our life's story, I have to wonder, what IS our purpose?
I hope that just like Alice, someone's last memories of me will be this: that just before I died, I had a smile on my face...that I wasn't afraid to die because I knew I wasn't dying at all...I was just taking a long awaited run to God's house.
Welcome home Auntie Alice.
|That's Auntie Alice on the right at 100 yrs old and her sister Florine, now 91|